National Night Out returns to Cherry Hill for first year after pandemic

Festivities include food trucks, vendors and demos by the police department

On Aug. 2, Cherry Hill Police Department will celebrate National Night Out with members from the township, Emergency Medical Services and Fire Department in front of the Cherry Hill Municipal Building. (EMILY LIU/The Sun).

On Aug. 2, Cherry Hill police, township and the recreation department will be participating in National Night Out for the first time since 2019. The campaign was originally organized by the National Association of Town Watch in 1984, but according to Community Response Unit Commander Lt. Andrew Spell, Cherry Hill has only recently started participating within the past six years. The event is free, family-friendly and open to the public.

The event serves as a way to connect community members with the police officers and has been celebrated in towns across the nation through a variety of ways including block parties, cookouts and parades. 

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It’s true that we enforce the laws, but we also want to have the residents of this township know that we’re here to assist them in any way that we can,” Spell said. 

This year’s celebration will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. outdoors by the Cherry Hill Municipal Building, 820 Mercer St., and will feature a dunk tank, giant inflatables, face painting, giveaways and demos by the police department. There will be food, vendors, fire trucks, ambulances, a DJ and more. Residents will also be able to speak with members from the fire department, emergency medical services and township.  

Throughout the year, the Cherry Hill police and the township work together to put on a number of events to encourage positive police and community interactions. Events include the Open House earlier this May, the return of the Junior Police Academy to take place the first week of August and the Fall Festival happening in October.

The police department also offers a nine-week Civilian Academy for residents interested in learning more about day-to-day operations and procedures of the Cherry Hill Police Department. Though the course has been on hiatus during the pandemic, Spell shared that it will return in 2023. 

“We’re really looking forward to this because it’s been two years since (National Night Out) has been in place and now we’re trying to engage again with the community,” Spell said. “Our offices are eager, new hires and new people transitioning in and out and the people who we’re bringing in, this is their first experience with it too. 

“It’s something we’re all looking forward to.”

To contact the Cherry Hill Police, residents can call the non-emergency phone number 856-665-1200.

To learn more about the Cherry Hill Police Department, visit https://www.chnj.gov/132/Police-Department.

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